How could I overlook the late, great Thor Heyerdahl? Even if 21st-century DNA analysis has refuted his theories on the global migrations of ancient peoples, his adventures aboard the Kon-Tiki and other such vessels made spell-binding reading for a child of the Sixties.
And then there was Wilfrid Thesiger, a giant of a man, very much a traveller of the old school who spent most of a very long life – he died at 93 – roaming with fellow nomads across the great deserts of Africa and the Middle East. Arabian Sands is most assuredly ‘one of the great travel books of all time’. Thesiger’s starkly beautiful photography, preserved at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, is equally memorable.
Perhaps the last word should go to World Hum (where did they get that name?) which has itemised what they declare to be the world’s top thirty travel books. What do YOU think?